Posted by: watchman | June 30, 2009

First Timothy 1: Strength and Service

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Paul tells Timothy that he is thankful for his ministry calling. He is also thankful for the service he has been called to perform and strength he has been given to perform that service. These three things are often forgotten by ministers:

  1. We are called and serve at the discretion of the one who has called us
  2. The strength to carry out our task is not found in our own talents, but in the favor of God.
  3. We are serving God, not the church and not ourselves

Too many minister are seeking to build a monument for themselves, or are seeking some self-serving reward for their work. Some people see evidence for their “calling” in the fact that they are talented and able ministers. This actually seems to be contradicted throughout scripture. In scripture, the most talented and able people are often passed up for the less likely candidates.

The principle to recall here is the fact that God chooses whom he chooses and it is rarely based on that which we might boast about. Too many ministries are centered around a personality cult. too many ministries are founded upon the talent of an individual. Jesus did not build his church on Peter. Rather, he built the church upon Peter’s declaration of Christ’s supremacy (Matt. 16:18).

I had a pastor tell me once that he was only in the ministry because the money was good and the work was easy. In my experience he is wrong on both counts. In fact, ministry requires a huge sacrifice and submission to a rigorous vocation.

Paul never forgot the fact that the strength he needed for the task came from the one who called him to it. We should also remember that.

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